AMD's Catalyst 8.1 graphics drivers are out

A new set of Catalyst graphics drivers is out for users of AMD's Radeon graphics cards in Windows. The driver update is revision 8.1, conforming to AMD's month/year numbering scheme, and it brings a handful of bug fixes and a new feature for multi-monitor users.

The new Catalysts introduce MultiView, a feature AMD says provides "full hardware accelerated OpenGL rendering across multiple graphics adapters setup in an extended desktop display configuration." In short, MultiView "allows for a 3D [application] to have the same performance running on a secondary or third display device as if it were running on the primary display device."

Gamers can expect bug fixes in BioShock, Call of Juarez, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, F.E.A.R., Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Oblivion, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., TimeShift, World in Conflict, and World of Warcraft. AMD has also made a Catalyst 8.1 hot fix available to improve multi-GPU performance in Crysis and fix issues with AGP Radeons. The 8.1 Catalysts can be downloaded here for Windows XP and Vista in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors, and detailed release notes are available here (PDF).

On the Linux side of things, AMD says it plans to release Catalyst 8.1 drivers for Linux soon. That release will include MultiView, too, and it will introduce support for Ubuntu 7.10 as well as versions 5.1 and 4.6 of Red Hat's Enterprise Linux. In addition, the upcoming drivers will resolve problems related to display corruption after periods of inactivity, support for displays with 1680 x 1050 resolutions, ignored lines in the xorg.conf configuration file, and setting a system to sleep or hibernate. Expect the Linux drivers to be available from AMD's drivers and software page.

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